It should be noted, with much sadness, that this is the last issue of this series to be illustrated by the genius that is J.H. Williams III. He will be sticking around to co-write the title with W. Haden Blackman, but without his innovative illustrations, this book will be missing something. But… he went out with a bang!
This issue caps what I consider to be the first story arc, with Batwoman and Wonder Woman finally confronting the Queen of Monsters and all of her lackeys including Medusa and Bloody Mary. Also back in action is Bette, Kate’s cousin, formerly known as the Teen Titan Flamebird (and in the old, old continuity, Bat-Girl, the precursor to Barbara Gordon), now going by the name Hawkfire (yuck, why?) and slinging a flame-thrower and explosives to confront the man called Hook, who nearly killed her, earlier. We sadly lose one of Kate’s staunchest and most long running supporting cast members though.
In all, it was extremely satisfying to finally resolve, pretty much every ongoing plot line in this single issue. Williams’ art, already innovative from the start, has evolved even further. In the beginning, he altered his artwork for each subplot, but now he mixes art styles on a single page, rendering different characters in a different look, making them pop away from each other, not to mention the background images and peripheral objects. And he even breaks in some even newer innovations, for example one panel depicting an explosion in black and white.
If I have to find any fault, it’s that this issue felt rushed. This is a story that has sprawled across 16 prior issues only to be entirely wrapped up in one issue. There were a few odds and ends that were resolved in the past issues, but a LOT was packed into this one installment. But despite that, it felt GOOD to end all of what has come before. Plus, we get a couple of excellent twists at the end, setting the stage for the next arc. I, uh, just hope that one doesn’t drag on for 17 issues. But otherwise, excellent issue of, what I consider the best comic on stands.
Written by J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman
Art and Cover by J.H. Williams III